Welcome to part 5 of my series on UR Twin. The lists vary between having Groundswells or not, that’s about it. Recently, Chris Fennell did win a MOCS using a BG list featuring Phyrexian Crusader, but since I have no experience against it, I won’t be covering that specific matchup.
For the purpose of covering as many variations of your main deck and sideboard as possible, I am using an aggregate deck list, which has more than 75 cards, but contains pretty much everything that is commonly played in the archetype.
UR Twin Aggregate Deck List
This matchup is much harder to play than it would seem at first glance. If they didn’t have Vines of Vastwood it would be a walk in the park for Twin in terms of complexity. The combination of Vines and Spellskite makes it a real puzzle to kill them, then add on top of that trying to survive for the first four turns.
Infect is a 55% favorite in my experience, it changes slightly depending on how many Spellskites each side has and the few slots I decide to play in Twin, but overall pre-sideboard you’re a dog with Twin.
Remand is really bad—everything they cast costs 1. Sometimes you’re on the play and you get a 2-drop, that’s pretty much the best deal you can get. Even when I successfully get Become Immense with it, they’ll have enough fodder to delve again.
With the following, as long as you have some of the key cards, Twin is a 55% favorite after sideboard.
Pyroclasm is strictly better than Anger of the Gods when they don’t have Mutagenic Growth. Otherwise, if they do play Mutagenic Growth, Anger is good against it, but it has the downside of being a 3-mana sorcery. I wouldn’t ever go up to two, but the first is fine.
Ancient Grudge deals with Inkmoth Nexus, Spellskite which they sometimes play 4 copies of after sideboard, and the 1-of Necropede/Ichorclaw Myr some lists play. That’s a minimum of 7 cards, so 2 Ancient Grudges is reasonable. If I had a 3rd it would stay in the sideboard.
Pia and Kiran Nalaar feels necessary because their sideboard plans usually involve a combination of Nature’s Claim, Spell Pierce, and Dismembers, making our combo much less reliable. It also just levels them—it creates a bunch of blockers, it goes past Wild Defiance, and all the sideboard cards I enumerated are bad against it.
Izzet Staticaster and Grim Lavamancer are my favorite cards against Infect, they’re fairly good against their game 2 and 3 plan of stopping your combo and it’s obviously awesome at killing small creatures. I used to not play Staticaster until I kept losing to Wild Defiance when I tried to play a long game with removal, with a total of two Grims and Staticasters I now feel much better in this matchup.
Negate is not particularly good here, however, it’s better than Remand every time on the draw and arguably better on the play.
You want to keep a few combo pieces even if they hate on it since you have card selection through Serum Visions and Desolate Lighthouse and they have none. If you get to the late game you want to able to find it, because you’ll have enough mana to back yourself up with Dispels and whatnot, and, well, they will end up being punished for having all these answers in hand the whole game.
I haven’t had enough cards to board in that I had to board out Cryptic so far, but I could see that happening. 4 mana is very clunky. In the past I’ve had to use Snapcaster + Cryptic to buy time, but that’s super risky considering they have Dismember and Vines of Vastwood to fizzle your Cryptic. They have their own Dispels too!
Thank you for reading, and see you next week, as I cover one last matchup!